Salt and Pepper Prawns (椒盐虾 – jiāo yán xiā)

IMG_0008The combination of salt and pepper is a popular one in western chinese restaurants. This popularity is only rivaled by its popularity in China. There is something special, magical even, that happens when these ingredients are used together with a few other crucial chinese ingredients that just makes you want to keep on eating, like scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam… or gravy on anything British (minus the scones and jam).

This dish of salt and pepper prawns is a classic demonstration of that morish deliciousness and is the perfect dish for a summers day evening or a winter’s night. In the current case, British autumn with a good helping of gale force wind and a heavy glug of heavy rain.



350 g raw shell on prawns (can also use peeled prawns, however may not get the same flavour, or cooked prawns (skip step 4 below))
1 fresh red chilli
A bunch of spring onions (4 or more depending on preference), finely chopped
1 thumb-sized ginger, finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1½ tsp white sugar
1½ tsp pepper salt (a special mixture of ground pepper and salt and sesame seeds, some might contain MSG so look out if you’re trying to avoid it)
3 tsp Lao Gan Ma chicken chilli sauce (optional)
3 tablespoon all purpose Kikkoman gf soy sauce (or light soy sauce)
3 tablespoon rapeseed oil or groundnut oil/vegetable oil


1 medium flat pan


  1. De-vein approximately 20 king prawns.IMG_9952
  2. Finely slice the spring onion and fresh chilli then peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic. IMG_9948
  3. Add the oil to a medium sized pan and place on a high heat until the oil is hot.IMG_9956
  4. Add the prawns to the oil on a high heat and cook for 2 or 3 minutes.IMG_9959
  5. When the prawns turn red on both sides add the spring onion, ginger, garlic and red chilli and cook together for 1 minute.IMG_9967.JPGIMG_9972.JPG
  6. To the pan add the sugar, pepper salt and soy sauce and stir together for another minute.IMG_9980
  7. Finally add extra chilli sauce to taste.IMG_9990.JPG
  8. Enjoy!IMG_0001